#icamp12: unconference competence


The infocamp 2012 is history. Organized as a barcamp by a team of HTW Chur (Swiss Institute for Information Science) it offered great opportunities to discuss interesting topics in small groups. There was no fixed program, only a quite open structure for the two days. So we started with an introduction of the 40 participants, who could suggest topics for the workshops. In the end we agreed to six topics that were discussed (in German) in two sessions and three parallel workshops. On the second day we chose some more topics. So you had to decide which workshop you wanted to attend – and that was not easy at all… (that describes the term „unconference competence“ – to know, how a unconference works…).

The topics were:

  • newLis – a new open access journal for LIS
  • Support for research (virtual research environments)
  • Information competence and remote users
  • Social media and marketing
  • Open educational resources, digital textbooks
  • Professional image of librarians

and on the second day:

  • support for (e-)publishing
  • newLIS (2)
  • Wikimedia workshop

You may wonder, if such an open format without prepared papers and presentations could really work. It does! We had much more interaction and discussions on a higher level than on most conferences I’ve ever been. Of course, it depends on the presence of some competent participants. And there were at the infocamp, for example some librarian 2.0 and well known blogger and twitterer like @lambo, @xenzen, @pampel, @scinoptica, @optimisc, @EvoMRI – and of course many others not represented on Twitter… The spirit of the infocamp was to listen to everybody and to be really interested in other people’s opinions. After the discussion in workshops the participants came together to plenary sessions where the results were presented and discussed one more time. Of course, we were not able to present solutions. But the two workshops on the topic on an new LIS-journal (#newLIS) resulted in a position paper that will be spread in the community after the unconference. Our suggestion is to create a new Open Access journal on LIS topics, in which as well scientific articles as reports about projects in libraries and students works can be published. It should also (or at first) include an overlay journal with aggregated content from trusted sources (blogs, journals). There was a statement that it could be like PLoS One and be called LIS ONE. I wonder if it could have been possible to create such a substantial position paper during a traditional congress? I guess not…

So, we are looking forward to the #icamp13! And thanks to the organizational committee with @karstens, @wolfgangsemar, @sabweb, @nadieschdaB!

Autor: mrudolf

Professor for Library Science at HTW Chur (university of applied sciences), co-editor of Informationspraxis, co-principal investigator of the Horizon Report Library Edition, blogging on library topics - and also on mindful living (in German as Männerherz)

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